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Are You Ready for September 23?

The new HIPAA Omnibus Rule deadline for compliance is nearly here. Are you ready? What do you have to do?

  • Learn about the Rule.
  • Apply it in your practice.
  • Train your employees on the changes that have been made.
  • Ensure your Business Associate Agreements are updated.
  • Be prepared for the September 23 compliance deadline.

The Omnibus final rule is comprised of the following four final rules:

  1. Final modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules mandated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and certain other modifications to improve the Rules, which were issued as a proposed rule on July 14, 2010. These modifications:
    1. Make Business Associates of Covered Entities directly liable for compliance with certain of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules' requirements.
    2. Strengthen the limitations on the use and disclosure of protected health information for marketing and fundraising purposes, and prohibit the sale of protected health information without individual authorization.
    3. Expand individuals' rights to receive electronic copies of their health information and to restrict disclosures to a health plan concerning treatment for which the individual has paid out of pocket in full.
    4. Require modifications to, and redistribution of, a Covered Entity's notice of privacy practices.
    5. Modify the individual authorization and other requirements to facilitate research and disclosure of child immunization proof to schools, and to enable access to decedent information by family members or others.
    6. Adopt the additional HITECH Act enhancements to the Enforcement Rule not previously adopted in the October 30, 2009, interim final rule, such as the provisions addressing enforcement of noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules due to willful neglect.
  2. Final rule adopting changes to the HIPAA Enforcement Rule to incorporate the increased and tiered civil money penalty structure provided by the HITECH Act, originally published as an interim final rule on October 30, 2009.
  3. Final rule on Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information under the HITECH Act, which replaces the breach notification rule's "harm" threshold with a more objective standard and supplants an interim final rule published on August 24, 2009.
  4. Final rule modifying the HIPAA Privacy Rule as required by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) to prohibit most health plans from using or disclosing genetic information for underwriting purposes, which was published as a proposed rule on October 7, 2009."

"This final omnibus rule marks the most sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules since they were first implemented," said HHS Office for Civil Rights Director Leon Rodriguez. "These changes not only greatly enhance a patient's privacy rights and protections, but also strengthen the ability of my office to vigorously enforce the HIPAA privacy and security protections, regardless of whether the information is being held by a health plan, a health care provider, or one of their business associates."

If you are unsure of the steps you must take for HIPAA Omnibus compliance and compliance for your employees and Business Associates, please contact us. We can help you!